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Ford aims to put fully autonomous cars on the streets by 2021

By Shawn Knight
Aug 16, 2016
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  1. Roadways populated with fully autonomous vehicles may become a reality sooner than anticipated. Ford CEO Mark Fields revealed on Tuesday that his company aims to have high-volume, fully autonomous (SAE Level 4) vehicles in operation by 2021.

    The first wave of fully autonomous vehicles, which won’t have steering wheels or pedals, will be developed for the ride-sharing and ride-hailing industry.

    To meet that deadline, the automaker will be doubling down on its engineering talent plucked from Silicon Valley. Specifically, Ford is creating a dedicated campus in Palo Alto that’ll add two new buildings and 150,000 square feet of work and lab space near its existing Research and Innovation Center. The new space will enable the company to double the size of its local team by the end of 2017.

    Fields said the next decade will be defined by automation of the automobile, noting that his company sees autonomous vehicles as having as significant an impact on society as Ford’s moving assembly line did 100 years ago. The executive added that they’re dedicated to putting autonomous vehicles on the road that can improve safety and solve social and environmental challenges for millions, not just those that can afford luxury vehicles.

    Ford is also expanding its investments in firms developing self-driving technology. One such company Ford is backing is Velodyne, a leader in light detection and ranging (LiDAR) sensors in hopes of being able to quickly mass-produce a more affordable LiDAR system for automobiles.

    Other companies the automaker is high on include Civil Maps and Nirenberg Neuroscience LLC. Ford also revealed it has purchased SAIPS, an Israel-based computer vision and machine learning company.

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  2. bmw95

    bmw95 TS Addict Posts: 106   +57

    Somehow I doubt this lol. Maybe Google or Tesla, but definitely not Ford.
     
    Steve likes this.
  3. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 910   +387

    If/when all cars have this, until the government FORCES it, I'll keep a "dumb car"
    Now, there will be those, that say this will never happen, but, once they go full
    automatic, how long until insurance companies, police, federal government start
    snooping around (they already do to some extent with the black box in cars).
    Oh, I can see it now...the GPS says you turned auto off, and went 5mph over the
    speed limit, didn't signal when changing lanes, didn't stop at a sign bla bla bla.
    Here's a speeding ticket etc, insurance rate increase etc.
    Oh, and you've planned a trip to xyz? Sorry, your car can't go there because there
    are too many people visiting xyz and that would cause too much congestion.
    Oh, you are going to a fast food place, well, according to our records, you've been
    there 3 times this week, we aren't going to allow it.
    Don't laugh...the government gets whatever they want, a little at a time.
     
  4. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 1,675   +779

    Oh Ford already has this, in fact they have had it for over two decades. The car has a big hook in the front that you latch on the bumper of any semi in front of you and viola! you can read a book, do your nails, etc., but one warning, do keep an occasional look at the road signs or you might suffer a slight detour .......
     
    Reehahs likes this.
  5. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,555   +2,898

    I want those sensors in a set of horns from hell. Can you go to hell and get me a set?
     
  6. mosu

    mosu TS Guru Posts: 422   +48

    Autonomous driving? NO. Assisted driving?-<like autopilot > YES
     
  7. MoeJoe

    MoeJoe TS Maniac Posts: 401   +208

    Built in meh-he-co.
     
  8. RustyTech

    RustyTech TS Guru Posts: 865   +434

    No one is laughing. We are definitely going there.
    Don't forget: oh you want to a fast-food joint? Health insurance rates just increased for you!!
     
    p51d007 likes this.
  9. Raoul Duke

    Raoul Duke TS Guru Posts: 930   +354

    It's when the car decides not to let you out and takes you straight to the Gulag that you can get worried. The charge will be Un-American Activity which can conveniently be made to cover anything 'they' want to.
     
  10. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,043   +271

    As long as the car has active sensors, like lidar or radar, and allows you to take over when it f's up, then I will be OK with it.

    On second thought, its a Ford - if only quality really were job 1 to Ford...
     
  11. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,555   +2,898

    Some ford products are worse than others. I bet you can find the same with all manufacturers. That doesn't mean Ford doesn't put out quality products. My fathers 2001 F150 has only had tires and ball joints replaced. We have often joked about Ford making a mistake with his truck as it has served him well. I can attest to the fact the biggest problem with Ford is the *****s that work on them.
     

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